LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — High honors today for a man who went above and beyond during the 1 October mass shooting. Active Staff Sergeant Kenneth DeLongchamp went from spectator to superhero as soon as the gunfire started.
Today, he accepted the prestigious Airman's Medal, an Air Force award for heroism usually at voluntary risk of life but not involving combat. But, he's the last person to call himself a hero.
"It’s a huge honor. Never in a million years did I think i was going to be awarded this," said Sgt. DeLongchamp.
Sgt. DeLongchamp was front row with his family for the Route 91 concert outside Mandalay Bay when the gunfire started.
"I went to work. I just tried to get as many people out of there as I possibly could," said Sgt. DeLongchamp.
First, he took care of his family.
"My first point was to get my family out of there. My immediate family was there with me, so I made sure to get them to safety," said Sergeant DeLongchamp.
That was only the beginning. He quickly rushed back into the line of fire, helping one woman escape over a fence and shielding others from gunfire while trying to save as many people as possible.
"People were coming up to me that were wounded. They had been shot and I knew I needed to get them to safety, to some medical help. Getting them out of the venue was priority one," said Sgt. DeLongchamp.
Now, nearly two years later, Sgt. DeLongchamp's heroism is being recognized with the prestigious Airman's Medal.
"I think that’s a testament to my training. It’s a testament to the first responder in me," said Sgt. DeLongchamp.
But he's a humble hero, insisting there are many more just like him who deserve credit for saving lives in the face of gunfire.
"This was not an individual effort. Like I said, there was at least 100 other people who did probably the same thing I did that night, and they are not getting recognized. So, i want to thank them for their courage and their leadership," said Sgt. DeLongchamp.
Sgt. DeLongchamp is not only focused on honoring the heroes who helped save lives that night, but making sure the victims are never forgotten.
"This is not about me. This is about the victims and the families who still have to suffer from this tragedy every day. So, please remember 1 October and please remember the 58 victims who lost their lives that night," said Sgt. DeLongchamp.